Like most success stories, the path to the band’s journey to the top hasn’t always been easy, given its colorful beginnings. When Franco Reyes – the band’s de facto band leader, chief songwriter and guitarist – began churning-out songs in his native Cebu during the early part of the millennium for a band called “Frank,” small audiences could already tell that Reyes was onto something, and displayed a knack for writing concise, hit-worthy material. When the group fizzled-out due to mediocre commitment from the rest of his mates, Reyes found himself in the United States, where he tried a second shot at a music career: entering Big3 Studios in Florida (renowned for its clientele like Cheap Trick, Frankie J and more recently, Anberlin…), Reyes recorded early versions of his songs, and even contemplated joining the Big3 Entertainment label. It seemed like Reyes was set on his way.
So by 2008, after much-prodding from a slew of musician-friends who happened to be a veritable who’s-who in the local Filipino music scene, Reyes felt that his proper place was in the Philippines, thus he returned to the motherland and in no time, released a self-titled debut full-length in 2010 (under label giant MCA Universal) that was such a massive hit, that it garnered multiple awards from various prestigious giants in the land: four awards from the 2010 NU107 Rock Awards, namely: Artist of The Year, Song of the Year (for the track “This Gathering”), Album of The Year and the Listener’s Choice Award, a 2010 Awit Awards citation for Best Performance by A Group of Recording Artists (for the single “Castaway”) and nominated numerous times during the MYX Music Awards, the country’s premier Music Video Television Channel. The band was without a doubt, one of the biggest success stories of the millennium, and their meteoric rise-to-the-top was one that had not been witnessed in a long time. The entire land was enamored of the music, and seemingly everyone was tuned-in carefully to the infectious, reggae-flavored sound they brought.
Of course, having some of the biggest music icons in the Philippines as part of his band proved to be a quite challenge, as schedules and other professional conflicts arose in the wake of the band’s busy touring schedule and commitments. By 2012, Reyes made a surprising decision to overhaul the band’s entire lineup, and added new blood to his group: former Frank guitarist Paul “Pauldo” Cañada, bassist Dave Delfin and drummer Victor Guison. Though there were a handful of doubters and worried fans, the band – through a rejuvenated energy and an even more-focused attitude – released its sophomore full-length Soul Adventurer, and again, had another hit on their collective hands. Fueled by three hit singles namely “To Survive,” crowd favorite “A Beautiful Diversion” and the title track “Better Days” (which won another Awit Award for Best Alternative Recording), the band proved that it was just getting started, and that the music hadn’t lost touch with its continually growing audience.
By the following year, the new lineup found itself continuing a furious gigging schedule all over the country, mostly performances at the biggest events in the land, winning over mainstream crowds in the process. The band managed to release an EP called Frank despite its grueling gigging schedule by the end of 2014, yet it still maintained its focus on furthering their musicianship and penchant for writing hit songs. By 2016, despite the drastic changes in the worldwide industry, the band not only rolled-with-the-punches, but thrived even further in the millennial music game, and released, not one, but TWO smash singles that year: “Best I Ever Had” and “Mondaze,” which was critically hailed by various music press outlets, and became most-requested live anthems as well – even with minimal support from local radio and music channels. Alongside their steady appearances and gigs in and out of the metro, the band also conquered territories outside the Philippines, like Dubai and again, Singapore, and found itself even busier than ever, with both mainstream media and corporate companies wanting-in on their success.
In fact, earlier this 2017, Franco – alongside six other legendary groups and seven up-and-coming artists – spearheaded one of the Philippines’ largest-ever music campaigns, sponsored by one of the world’s largest Cola companies. The campaign, which features veteran groups collaborating with young artists who are yet to break-out into bigger stages, is still ongoing and airing as of this writing.
Of course, the band’s achievements have been hard to ignore, even from foreign shores which is why Warner Music Singapore wasted no time in formally adding Franco to their fine roster of world-class talent recently in August 2017. With a new single ready to be launched by the end of September, and a full-length album to be released early 2018, Franco maintains their status as the best of the best from the Philippines, and promises more exciting achievements on their newfound path to international success.
Listen to Franco’s Music, available now on iTunes and Spotify
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